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Does glaucoma run in families?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

It is not scientifically proven yet, but glaucoma may be genetically inherited. The genetic inheritance wouldn't actually be the disease itself, but a higher susceptibility to it. If you have a family history of glaucoma then you have a higher risk of developing the disease.

One of the primary risk factors for glaucoma is family history. A genetic predisposition to glaucoma is common. How glaucoma presents within a family, however, is quite variable. How a particular trait or gene presents within different members of a family is called “expression.”  Generally, the younger the person with glaucoma, the higher the eye pressure and the more difficult it is to treat compared to older individuals. If there is a strong genetic predisposition to glaucoma in your family, it is important for everyone to see an eye doctor early in life and then have follow up exams on a regular basis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.